Friday, September 5, 2014

Week in Review 2014 - 09/05

Tempest in a Teapot
is my latest attempt at
designing my own
free motion quilting motif.
Tips, Techniques and Thoughts:

The power went out this morning after I had rinsed the shampoo from my hair, but before I had applied the cream rinse. Our sewer system is such that no water should drain during a power outage. So, I vacated the shower and toweled off. What to do next? There is no simple answer to this question since Fridays are days when I am tied to the computer, writing my blog and processing our finances. 

Detail from the progress made on Night Vision
Life happens. The key is what you make of it. This is a thought I return to regularly in my art. I think of it as the gift of failure. Some of my most creative solutions would never have occurred if I hadn't inadvertently messed up. For example there was the time I was seaming together two very intricately pieced sections of a calla lily quilt. I discovered that there was a glaring thumbnail gap between the seams. I could start over, but I had insufficient fabric and besides I had invested hours and hours piecing these sections. Fortunately, my muse chose this moment to speak up and suggested that I add an appliqué  to cover the gap. I just happened to have a fabric printed with the right size butterflies. I fussy cut a few and scattered them judiciously around the quilt including one over the gap. Not only did the butterflies I hide my gaff, they looked as though they were intended all along, providing movement and resting places for the eye!

Leaf #2 is pieced. It is currently pinned in place
on top of leaf #1. Six leaves make up the background
of Night Vision.
It hasn't been a week of failures, however, my muse continues to guide me. She suggested a new subtle, time saving tweak to my piecing system for Night Vision, ways to add texture, interest and a focus to my intuitive mixed media assignment and even a new combination of free motion quilting motifs to play with. Here are the results of my muse's intervention:

1) Night Vision - (Due January 1, 2015)

a) Continue the piecing - Done!

I set a personal goal to piece leaf #2. I am really liking the different values and my choice to combine blue/green fabrics in leaf #1 and yellow/green fabrics in leaf #2.

2) Free motion quilting practice. - Done!
Detail from my test piece to see how
Tempest in a Teapot would
look stitched out.

I did a fair amount of doodling this week. Ultimately I chose to give this combo of what I think of as echoed S's and spirals a try. The swirls reminded me of a a turbulent section in an otherwise gentle sea. The name Tempest in a Teapot just seems to suit. 

3) LifeBook 2014 - Do the assignment. - Done!

Let Your Light Shine is my first intuitive,
no guidance provided mixed media piece.
This week's assignment was to work completely intuitively. Step 1 was to gather all the materials you might like to work with and choose a color scheme. After that you were on your own. This would have been a really scary prospect when I started taking the classes last January, but with 8 months of guided lessons, I felt a relief to be able to work with the parts of mixed media I enjoy (paints, inks, texture and simple lines) and bypass altogether the nail biter drawings and first layer of collage that is invariably covered up. 

Now the question is what guidance will my muse give me next week. Here are the projects I will be working on where her input would be valued.

1) Night Vision - (Due January 1, 2015)

a) Continue the piecing

2) Free motion quilting practice.

3) LifeBook 2014 - Do the assignments.

I am now linking up to two blogs on Fridays. The first is Nina Marie's Off the Wall Fridays and the second is Free Motion Mavericks.


  1. I think our subconscious minds make these 'mistakes' deliberately to lead us in new and much more adventurous directions. The solutions and revisions almost always turn out better than the original plan. Can't wait to see the entirety of Night Vision! Your free motion motif is beautiful, and so is Let Your Light Shine (lots of my favorite colors there, too).

    1. Love how think, Linda. It never occurred to me that I was self sabotaging in order to learn and grow. Great paradigm shift. Thank you!

  2. I like your technique of one day a week for finances and blogging, etc. Will remember for when life settles down. :)
    That is a fun free motion pattern and I love the way Night Vision is developing. Have a great week!

  3. Night Vision is coming along very nicely and the free motion is beautiful.

  4. Beautiful fmq-pattern! Love it with the multicolor thread!

    Love from Amsterdam


  5. Replies
    1. Thank you for stopping by my blog, Maartje and sharing your most complimentary comments.

  6. Hello Gwyned,

    Thank you for linking up again with Free Motion Mavericks.

    The leaves are really beginning to take shape. I love the definition that they have from the veins. With the lush greens they look very tropical.

    The FMQ design is like slowly curling steam... but in a tropical green!

    You have a great talent for overlaying layers of colour and design. The purples, golds and reds with black and white are a really striking combination. It will be interesting to see how the LifeBook assignments influence your quilted works in the long term.

    Love, Muv